Diplomats from 200 nations agreed Saturday to launch a process to meet in 2018 and review greenhouse gas emission standards as part of a long-term effort to cut down on carbon emissions worldwide, Reuters reports.
The talks come despite President Trump’s decision in May to exit the Paris climate accords. The U.S. will remain in the agreement until 2020, when the agreement allows the nation to exit.
The U.S. was represented at the discussions, in Bonn, Germany, by a few members of Congress and a U.S. delegation led by Judith Garber, acting assistant secretary for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs.
The group of world leaders also agreed to create a “rule book” governing how nations report and monitor carbon emissions.
“Right now we’re moving at a brisk walk, so all countries will need to really pick up the pace from here,” Brazil’s environmental minister Jose Sarney Filho told Reuters.
The talks, which ended Saturday, were overshadowed by the Trump administration’s decision, which would leave the U.S. as the only major country not a member of the Paris agreement. Other world leaders said Saturday that Trump’s decision shows the agreement must be protected.
Trump has called the deal “unfair” to the United States, and has called for new negotiations.
“Everyone got together and said ‘we have to protect the world. We have to protect the Paris Agreement.’ Countries are moving forward,” United Arab Emirates Climate Minister Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said.
The Trump administration’s only presence at the Bonn talks was an event promoting coal, which seemingly contradicted efforts from other nations and two U.S. states that vowed at the talks to focus on renewable energy.
“Whatever the president may say about climate, he cannot stop clean energy,” said Sen. Brian Schatz Brian Emanuel SchatzSEC nominees must not grant companies ‘safe harbor’ with buyback rule Justice, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale Ex-Yahoo, Equifax execs hammered over massive hacks MORE (D-Hawaii), one of five U.S. senators who attended talks last weekend. “He’s a powerful man, but he’s not a monarch, and we are going to continue the clean energy revolution.”